Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Orange Cinnamon Rolls and a CONTEST!!

We hope everyone had a terrific Easter! We sure did, especially since it started out with these Orange Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast at Eric's parents house. There is just something about cinnamon rolls that make us hungry for breakfast at any time of the day. Something about the gooey inside and the sugary frosting on top maybe? Whatever the reasoning behind it, we both have a soft spot for cinnamon rolls and decided to bring them over for breakfast. Since Charisse's grandmother's fruit trees are still producing we had an overabundance of oranges this week, and Charisse decided that she wanted to try an orange cinnamon roll. Probably the best idea she's had in at least a week, by far, it totally changes the whole cinnamon roll game. Speaking of games, Eric has been particularly crazy these past few days with the NHL playoffs going on, to that point that people are simply watching his Facebook posts to see how the game is going. It's become a tradition for him to sit in his comfy chair, watching the game with the computer on, with his lucky hat on. If its a close game, he'll sit on the floor closer to the TV (and yell louder, just incase the players are having a hard time hearing him through the TV). Charisse tried to figure out why he does this a while back and is still mystified that he thinks stuff like this will change the outcome of the game. Which got us wondering: how many of you have superstitions about watching or playing sports, or have loved ones who do? What are they? Leave a comment with your sports traditions and we'll pick a announce a winner for a $25.00 gift card on Monday morning!! 
Printable Recipe

(contest rules and small print!) To be eligible you have to be a follower (email, google RSS or Facebook) and your comment has to include your sports superstition! We will close the submissions Sunday night at midnight and pick a winner at random Monday morning. Make you include a way for us to contact you!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Chocolate Bundt Cake

We were thinking about what to make the other day and figured nobody would want a chocolate bundt cake. Okay so that was more Eric being snarky and Charisse almost hit him over the head with a skillet for saying it, because we know if there's one thing just about everyone loves, its chocolate. Mmmm chocolate. Especially moist, succulent doughnut shaped chocolate that happens to be on our dining room table. Thats the best kind of chocolate. At the time Eric was too busy being unhappy with the Sharks (and you thought after last week you were safe from him sneaking in his NHL addiction around here) to let the smells from the kitchen get his appetite going. Yeah, Sharks didn't play well in game 2, Eric exhausted himself yelling at the TV, turning it off, turning it back on, yelling some more, etc. So it was no surprise to Charisse that he seemed completely unaware of the cake until he turned around and it was sitting there ready to be eaten. Now, Charisse tells Eric just about every game that the team can't actually hear him through the TV (its never stopped him from trying to help) but now Eric's not so sure, after scarfing 2 slices in full view of the post game show the Sharks finally started winning some games. Maybe they have Smell-O-Vision, or maybe its just that Chocolate really does fix everything.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Braised Short Ribs in a Spicy Tomato Sauce

Sometimes life makes you feel a little crazy, then it'll do something that makes you feel a lotta crazy. Take this week for example: Eric starts his new job, is all happy and excited until Charisse calls after getting home from work and finding the fish tank empty and the floor all wet. What a terrific way to end your second day at a new job; "Uhm, my fish tank is broken and my bed room is flooded, I've got to go". Nice. Charisse on the other hand has been battling slugs and other little critters in the garden all week. Now that she's got her garden all up and going and stuff is growing every time she goes out there, there are little holes in everything! After coming this far, the thought of loosing everything to the little buggers has got Charisse in full battle mode! Every evening there's a new battle cry coming from behind the computer: "Citrus, I'll get them with citrus!" or something like that. We honestly can't print most of her battle cries, this is a family blog after all but her determination is something fierce, Eric will vouch for that. We're super excited about the garden, though for now we're still harvesting at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods (and Safeway on occasion). Speaking of harvesting at Safeway, the last time we were there we came back with some rough cut short ribs, and decided to give the oven a good 6 hour workout. Seriously. This one braised for 5 hours the night before, then cooked for another hour before serving. When they say "falls off the bone" this is what they are talking about (who "they" are is a whole new topic). Not to mention this is on the healthier side of meat dishes, the braising draws out quite a bit of the fatty content which congeals on top and gets thrown out, which is pretty fun in and of itself. We've done braised short ribs before, but never like this, with a terrific tomato sauce. The trick to taking this from awesome to "omgwhatisthisitsamazingwliohwghagh" is letting it sit over night. All the flavors intermingle and intermix and the whole pot becomes a big pot of YUM.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pudding

That time of the year has rolled around again, that time when grown men are allowed to cry and hug each other unabashedly, hurl insults and other throw-able objects at the TV (or other nearby people wearing the wrong colors) and everybody feels just a little bit Canadian (except for actual Canadians, who just feel pretty normal). Yup, the NHL Playoffs are here and Eric is that excited. Actually, he's more excited than that, but we can't print that level of excitement here, this is a family blog! Really the only thing that's been able to cut into talk about his new job has been the start of the playoffs. He spent some serious time getting ready this year: washing all his sharks shirts, getting his jerseys in line, polishing his Sharks gnome (a gift from Cherlyn and Dave that Charisse has restricted to the garage, yes still finds it sitting on shelves around the house) and watching as much hockey has he can take. In other words he's like everyone else who lives in San Jose, Sharks obsessed. Since we don't have tickets this year (yet!) we'll be watching on TV and having people over for assorted Sharks viewing parties and one of the best things to have a viewing party is DESSERT! Last season, we had our friends Dan and Jen over for one and right in the middle of the game, there was a distinct hankering for Ice Cream. Eric like to pretend it was the girls who sent us to the store during intermission and give them a hard time about it, but everyone knows he wanted the ice cream just as bad. This time around, we're not going to get left without, not when we've got Peanut Butter Chocolate Pudding! It's seriously half chocolate pudding, half peanut butter pudding, all awesome. It's like a Reece's peanut butter cup in pudding form, but better.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Grilled Fish Tacos

So Eric spent the better part of last week in Columbus Ohio at a show and Charisse insisted that he bring her home some sort of present. After tooling around Columbus on his way back to the hotel, Eric ran into North Market, an indoor farmers market type place chock full of good food and wonderful surprises, namely North Market Spices, a small spice shop that somehow cost us 150 bucks in “presents”. We think you’ll agree that the price was worth the spices we ended up with. Powdered Wasabi, Mace Blades and Powdered Hibiscus just to point out a few. Eric even brought home a book “Herbs & Spices” which is all about… you guessed it, herbs and spices. Reading it on the plane, the smell of all those spices emanated from the pages and pushed Eric to will the plane to go faster so we could hit the kitchen and start coming up with yummy foods and awesomely full stomachs to go with the wonderful smells emanating from the book’s pages. Charisse was home, completely unaware of the culinary storm that was fast approaching, instead enjoying watching her dad Pat play the drums with his blues band. Getting home was almost like Christmas morning, spices flying out of their wrappers and lots of "oooh! ahh!" sounds. Now that the storm has passed here, we’re going to make you wait a little longer to see what we conjure up with all this loot, instead we still need to show you last Tuesday’s recipe: Grilled Fish Tacos. Booyah. Fish tacos are one of those uniquely South American dishes that always seems refreshing, especially at the end of a long, tiring day. We spent most of last weekend getting the yard cleaned up and getting benches put in around the edge of our patio, so we were pretty beat. We decided to fire up the grill, invite Charisse's parents over (actually Pat called and asked "what's for dinner?", so we made extra) and threw some wood in our outside fireplace. The tacos hit the spot and were generously helped down by an outstanding martini. Okay, maybe more than one. Hit the jump though for the Grilled Fish Taco recipe and Eric’s personal view on what makes the perfect Martini. We think James Bond would agree.
Printable Recipe

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Grilled Corn Salad

So Eric's one task on Monday nights and Tuesdays around lunch time is creating and posting wonderful things for everyone to read, but this time around he was pretty much not really focused on much of anything. Instead he took off for Ohio for this last work related trip Wednesday morning after spending all of Monday and Tuesday distracted. We were both pretty much super distracted this week, on one hand because of Eric's trip, but on the other hand because we were expecting to hear back about a possible new job, which means he sat around the last few weeks saying "oh, I'm sure I didn't get it. Oh, I'm sure there'll be more interviewing to do for it. Oh it's just exploring my options, I'm not going to get all excited about something that probably won't happen". Of course Charisse managed to decode these messages and revealed the real message he was sending as: "OMG, IfIgetthisjobitwillbethebestjobeverI'msoexcitedIcan'tthinkorsitstilllongenoughtowriteablogpost". Needless to say, we were both very excited when Eric actually got the call on Tuesday morning, and the call was "you got the job!". Don't tell anyone, but Eric was caught dancing a little jig down the hallways of his office and Eric dancing does not happen that often (not without a long night out that leads up to the dancing part anyways). Anyways, our post about firing up the grill, grilling being Eric's "man thing" and how to make the best Martini in the world (at least one that would make James Bond proud) got a bit sidetracked. Instead we offer you a grilled corn salad which we hope will tide you over until next week and get you though all of Eric's corny jokes.